The star of the new movie 'The Hollars' talks about her fateful first costume fitting for 'Justified'
Over lunch on New York City’s Upper West Side, a block away from the apartment where she’s lived since 1978, Margo Martindale pulls a pink mobile phone out of a pink handbag. Amazingly, she says that she doesn’t even like the color. But the phone and the handbag, Martindale explains, are justifiable.
Rather, they are Justified. In 2010, Martindale went to her first wardrobe fitting for her role as Kentucky drug queen Mags Bennett on the second season of FX’s acclaimed Timothy Olyphant drama. And on that day she just so happened to be wearing pink underwear.
“The costumer, her name was Patia Prouty and she was a genius,” Martindale says. “And she told me, ‘You know, pink underwear are good luck for you. I have not had on anything but pink underwear since that day. I’m wearing pink underwear right now. And I don’t even like pink.” She points to her phone and her handbag. “Pink, pink, everything pink.”
It sure was solid advice. For her ferocious, galvanizing performance on Justified, Martindale won a best supporting actress Emmy. She followed that with an acclaimed role in the movie version of August: Osage County and an incredible run of success on TV, including parts on The Millers, Mike & Molly, Sneaky Pete, the animated BoJack Horseman (where she voices “Character Actress Margo Martindale”), The Good Wife, and The Americans, which scored her a second Emmy last year. She’s currently nominated for her work on the fourth season of the FX series.
But the costume designer’s tip about lucky color pink wasn’t the only help that Martindale received. “Patia also really helped me find Mags. I wanted Mags to wear men’s shoes and I wanted them to have been her deceased husband’s. I want her pants to be a few inches too short at the bottom. And I wasn’t sure about the shirts, but I wanted them to be her husband’s too. And then Patia said, ‘What about a belt?’ I said, ‘Really? A belt around me?’ But we put it on and we looked in the mirror and we said, ‘Well, yep. That’s where she keeps all her tools.’ That was total Mags.”
Martindale has received raves for her performance in the new film The Hollars (out now). In a review of the film, EW said, “This is Martindale’s show, and she brings an authenticity and a deadpan humor to the Hollar family matriarch. For most of the movie, she’s the family’s rock, even though she’s the one lying in the hospital bed.”
And though she appears in much of The Hollars in a hospital gown, you can bet the farm on what color she’s got on underneath.
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